Today is the 10Th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. I wasn't sure I wanted to write a post about it because just last night I had a nightmare (reason why I posted it so late), but here I am. First, my prayers and blessings to the families and friends of those lost on this day 10 years ago.
It's hard to believe 10 years have passed. Feels like it wasn't too long ago that I was riding the bus after dropping the kids at school. I was going through a rough time then so I was feeling depressed (that's another story). I turned on the radio on my phone to listen to some music. As I was thinking about the apartment I was going to see I heard about the first plane. I thought, wait did I hear right? I wish I could have pressed rewind at that moment. At first, I thought it was a prank or an accident. Then I heard them say a second plane just hit the second tower. I kept looking around the bus to see if everyone else heard the same thing because I still didn't believe it. Everyone looked normal.
After the bus, I took the train to get to Roosevelt Avenue and there from the platform I could see the Twin Towers filled with smoke. My mind was racing trying to think about every possible explanation. I kept trying to call my kid's school but the cell phones weren't working. When I looked up again there was only one tower standing. At this point I still wasn't sure what had happened so I kept trying to call my kid's school but couldn't get through. While I'm trying to look for change for the pay phone I glanced over and the second tower was gone. I could hear people gasping and crying. Me, I was stunned for a moment. I couldn't think. I thought, what is happening? Then I see everyone else going down the stairs when I heard the announcement that there were no trains running. I started panicking thinking how am I going to get to the kids. I kept calling the school from a pay phone but nothing. I finally got through to my ex (we were together at the time) when he tells me that we were attacked. I said to him what do you mean? He tells me again, I started crying. I could feel my heart beating really fast, feeling like someone just dropped a bucket of cold water on me. I told him I have to get the kids, I don't know how but I'll get there. He was further away so he couldn't get to them.
Everyone was leaving the train station so I followed them. We ended up in Northern Boulevard, trying catch a bus from there but the buses that kept passing by were full. People were trying to call their families to pick them up. I didn't have anyone to call so I keep trying to catch a bus but none of them were stopping. People started talking to each other trying to keep calm, asking where they were headed to see if they could get a ride. A lady started talking to me, she told me that her son was going to pick her up that she could drop me off at the nearest bus stop. I said to her, Ay, Gracias! Que Dios se lo pague/Oh, thank you! May God bless you! Every time I think about it I wish we would've asked each others name, would've liked to stay in touch. If it wasn't for her God knows how much more I would've had to wait to get to my kids. From the time we got there to the time we left it was almost 4 hours.
I finally got to the school, I literally ran to them to hug them. I kept asking them if they were ok. At the time they were 11 and 8 years old so they didn't really understand the magnitude of what was going on. I told them I was trying to call the school and that's when they told me someone had called in a bomb threat. On a day like that why would someone be so cruel, and call a bomb threat to a school, is beyond me. We took the bus home, and as soon as I opened the door I ran to turn to the TV. I remember vividly seeing the first images, I was sobbing. Finding out that they not only attacked New York, but also Virginia. The third attack prevented by the heroes of flight 93. God bless them for giving their lives for us.
All that time I thought that the people inside the buildings had had enough time to get out. When it was clear most of them didn't, I felt angry and helpless at the same time. As silly as it may sound (I'm sure I wasn't the only one), I wanted to help somehow. Go down there to help with the digging, serving food, anything. Of course that didn't happened for me, but I am glad so many people did help in one way or another.
For the next couple of days, weeks I was glued to the TV. My problems were secondary at that point. All I could think about were the people under the rubble waiting to be rescued. I wanted to know every little bit of new information. That, for some reason gave me some comfort (until this day I don't know why) even though when I went to sleep I would have nightmares.
I remember people being nice to each other after that day. Asking how are you doing today? Saying hello and good morning. Something that not many people used to say, and still don't. I remember feeling so proud of being an American. Thinking we are now at war, our soldiers will find them. We will show them how strong United States can be. Our way of living may have changed, but we are as strong as ever. We Will Never Forget...
Note: I uploaded some photos I received through emails years ago. I don't claim this photos as mine, I'm simply sharing them.